A Taxonomy of Chocolate Bars

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If you’ve clicked on this expecting a well-thought out classification of all the different chocolate bars available in the UK then you’ll be sadly disappointed.

Also, what is wrong with you?

Seriously, who needs to know about chocolate bars to that extent?

I mean I am reasonably well-versed in chocolate. I’m certainly no expert, but I know my Double Deckers from my Lion Bars and my Twirls from my Twix.

But this post isn’t really about chocolate bars.

Although if you’re in the mood for one you could do worse than any of the above.

But really this post is, as with all my posts, about not very much at all.

Normally I have no difficulty coming up with creative ways of writing about nothing, but recently I’ve been struggling.

Today I had a particularly bad bout of writer’s block

Indeed I have been sitting on my sofa for the best part of an hour starting, and subsequently deleting, various attempts at a blog post.

And even by the particularly low standards I set for myself, I was coming up with nothing that I considered acceptable for these prestigious pages.

And then Mrs Proclaims appeared.

I mean she came down the stairs, she didn’t magically appear in front of me like a genie.

Or someone off of Star Trek.

Upon her entering the room, I implored her to give me an idea to write about.

She looked at me suspiciously, as if having walked into a trap.

And rightly so, for I am not known to solicit suggestions when it comes to content for this blog and I can be more than a little ungracious when unsolicited suggestions are made. (This a particularly blog-specific failing on my part and should in no way be used to judge me in other areas of my life and is certainly no reflection on the state of my marriage…)

“I mean it,” I said in an attempt at reassurance, “I really can’t think of anything.”

Still with a slight sense of mistrust she pondered the situation for a moment.

“Why don’t you write a Taxonomy of Chocolate Bars?” she suggested.

I congratulated her on her brilliance and she returned to the upper rooms of our abode feeling pleased with herself.

Obviously I haven’t written a taxonomy of chocolate bars.

It’s too varied and controversial a topic for me to be able to do it justice.

But I did think it would make a good title.

And I have just eaten a chocolate bar.

It was a Lion Bar if you must know.

I’d have preferred a Double Decker, but we didn’t have any of those in the cupboard and the nearest shop is all the way across the road.

We did have Wagon Wheels in the cupboard.

I’m not sure if they count as chocolate bars, because of their shape.

If only someone had written a thorough and complete taxonomy of chocolate bars so I could find out.

Scraping The Barrel

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Is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by a nice biscuit? Maybe a Chocolate-covered Digestive, or perhaps a Jammy Dodger?

I mean obviously obesity.

It stands to reason that you aren’t going to solve obesity by eating Shortbread.

But, aside from that, is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by taking time out to munch on a Malted Milk?

Ok, admittedly, it’s unlikely to solve some of the bigger world problems. The UK’s ignominious separation from Europe is still going to be mishandled by Tory infighting regardless of how many Oreos you stuff into your mouth and the septuagenarian toddler in the White House is still going to spout ridiculous, regressive rhetoric irrespective of your Hobnob consumption.

But on a personal level, is there any problem that can’t be overcome by eating Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Well yes.

Eating excessive Viennese Whirls is not going to make your job any more interesting, your bathroom any more decorated or your utility bills any lower.

Bourbons are certainly not going to finish that novel you’re trying to write.

Or start writing it for that matter.

Consuming Custard Creams, gorging on Garibaldis or polishing off Pink Wafers will not lead to long-term happiness.

But they do make a lovely addition to a cup of tea or coffee and may put a smile on your face for a few minutes.

Which is something.

Jaffa Cakes are nice too, but people are often unsure whether they are biscuits or cakes.

And the answer is clearly cakes.

The clue is in the name.

But regardless of that, they do the job of a biscuit well enough.

And whatever your biscuit of choice, or hot beverage for that matter, you should go and have one of each now.

It would be a better use of your time than reading this.

It might have been better for everyone had I not shifted myself away my own biscuit tin in order to write this banality.

But, for the sake of ongoing blog content, I decided to switch scraping a biscuit barrel for a metaphorical one.

I’m truly sorry.

Have a bourbon on me*.

*I won’t actually be providing the bourbons – you’ll have to buy those yourself. Feel free to switch to another biscuit of choice instead. But do have a biscuit. You’ll feel better for it. Unless that biscuit is a Rich Tea. Because seriously, what is the point of those?

Going Cold Turkey On The Cold Turkey

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The trouble with ‘Twixmas’, the period between Christmas and New Year, is it’s pretty hard to judge exactly how to play things ‘health wise’.

In many households there are still quite a lot of leftovers that ‘need’ to be eaten.

Cold turkey would be a case in point. Turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas is a tradition that I’ve always enjoyed.

Although it is a ‘Twixmas’ pleasure that I’ve actually given up in the name of love. Mrs Proclaims is a pescatarian (which is someone who doesn’t eat meat but does eat fish). So (even though I don’t really get it – why has a turkey got more right to live than a tuna?) I’ve also kind of become a pescatarian of sorts. I still eat meat on occasion but when I’m cooking for both of us I tend to cook vegetarian food or fish. I like fish so it’s really no hardship. For Christmas dinner I cooked a side of salmon rather than a turkey. A whole turkey for just for me seemed excessive and a properly cooked side of salmon is quite the festive treat. It was still too much for two people so there are still lots of leftovers – it’s just that I find myself eating a lot of cold salmon rather than cold turkey. Continue reading Going Cold Turkey On The Cold Turkey

James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

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I’m not sure if I’m going to make the review of my chocolate advent calendar an annual event. However, I did do it last Christmas Eve and I seem to be doing it again this year so there’s every chance it’ll happen again next year.

There has been a development on the chocolate advent calendar front – after many years (some might argue too many years) of indulging me, my mother has passed on the baton to my darling wife. Mrs Proclaims has stepped up to the plate however and did not disappoint.

Once again I got Marks and Spencer Advent calendar which means that once again the chocolate is of a decent quality. To be honest that’s generally enough to keep me happy, but Mrs Proclaims knows my love of Star Wars (and indeed novelty Star Wars chocolate products in particular) so to follow up last year’s Darth-Vader-themed calendar, this year I got a BB8 calendar.

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Admittedly BB8 is not a character that instantly transports me back to my youth because there was no BB8 in the original trilogy. BB8 is from last year’s ‘The Force Awakens’ but I pretty much loved everything about that film, so it’s more than ok by me. Continue reading James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

James Reviews the 2015 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

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Every year, without fail, my mum buys me a chocolate advent calendar. I would genuinely be upset if she didn’t. Yes I’m 36 years old but frankly if it’s wrong to have a chocolate advent calendar in your mid-thirties then I’m not sure I want to be right. Continue reading James Reviews the 2015 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

Darth by Chocolate

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I love Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back is probably my favourite film of all time, but I basically love all of the films, even though I am fully aware that the ‘prequel’ trilogy, particularly ‘The Phantom Menace’ are objectively quite bad. I also love Star Wars Merchandise. I had loads of toys when I was a kid, although at some point during my teenage years, my parents saw fit to give them away to my cousin, possibly robbing me of a nice little ‘resale’ nest egg. Truthfully I probably wouldn’t have sold them and might still secretly play with them today if they hadn’t done that, so maybe they were doing me a favour. Continue reading Darth by Chocolate